Singapore trains sent for repairs

Dover MRT station, Singapore. Source: Wikimedia

A total of 26 of Singapore’s 35 Chinese-made metro trains are being sent back to the manufacturer after structural defects were found.

The public transport operator announced the cracks were found in the structure of the trains connecting the car and the bogie, which is the framework carrying the wheels.

The trains, which are about five years old, were made by China Southern Railway (CSR) Qingdao Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company, which together with Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries, won the first deal to provide 22 six-car trains for the North-South and East-West lines in 2009.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the defects “are not safety-critical and do not affect the train’s systems or performance”, adding that it has been working closely with the manufacturer after defects were found.

“The train manufacturer will be required to make good the defects as part of their warranty,” LTA announced. “Trains on the rail network are extensively tested to ensure the safety and reliability of the train. Every train also undergoes a comprehensive regime of static and dynamic testing as well as interface testing to ensure its structural and operational integrity.  After the testing is completed, the trains are delivered to Singapore for further testing before they are placed for passenger service,” LTA said.

The defective trains would be repaired by the manufacturer by 2023, managing director of SMRT Trains Lee Ling Wee reportedly told Hong Kong-based news portal FactWire.

“To ensure that the trains are safe for passenger service at all times, we have been monitoring the defects closely. A monthly safety assessment is also conducted by the LTA and manufacturer before the train is put into service,” Lee said. ”

Lee said the SMRT engineers discovered the cracks and since then it had worked closely with the LTA and the manufacturer to rectify this issue.

FactWire reported that some of the trains had windows which shattered repeatedly, and in 2011, one of the uninterruptible batteries exploded during repairs.

The news website said cracks were found, including in the sub-floor, under the passenger floor where the equipment and electrical wires were kept.